Election

Are you looking at your sample ballot for the May 24 Arkansas primary? There are a lot of jobs on the ballot that people might not know what they do.

Today we highlight the job of a county surveyor.

County Surveyor in Arkansas

The role of county surveyor is one of nine elected executives in county government. But not every county elects a surveyor. In many counties, the surveyor role is a part-time elected job for someone who is a licensed surveyor.

The elected position dates back to pre-licensure days and includes old job requirements, said Saline County Surveyor Aaron Rasburry. Rasburry, who is working to start a state association of county surveyors, said he discovered that his third great-grandfather held the role in the 1890s.

Term in Office: A constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2016 changed the term of a county surveyor from two years to four years.

The Association of Arkansas Counties 2021 county government salary survey does not include salaries for county surveyors. Rasburry said there's no county budget for him in Saline County and that he's called in on a contractual basis when there's a need for survey work by a county surveyor.

Eligibility Requirements:

-- United States citizen

-- At least 21 years old

-- Registered to vote in their county

-- No fraud or felony convictions

-- Must be a person of good character and reputation

-- Must be registered as a professional surveyor by the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors

Job Duties:

Over their four-year term, a county surveyor is responsible for:

-- Locating boundaries of specific properties at the request of the assessor

-- Establishing disputed property lines upon the request of the county or the courts

-- Acting as the county timber inspector where needed, and determines the amount of timber cut, keeps records, and prosecutes people who remove timber from state-owned lands. (This is an example of an old requirement that Rasburry said he doesn't get called in to do.)

May Primary

In Arkansas, the county surveyor position is a partisan race on the ballot. This means there may be Democratic or Republican candidates wanting the position.

A primary is meant to reduce the number of candidates associated with a political party until there is only one candidate from each party to choose from in a later race (November in our case).

In several Arkansas counties, there might be only one political party that has candidates for this position. In this instance, the May 24 vote is the final vote for the office. The winner would be unopposed in November.

CLICK HERE to find out what is on your ballot at the Arkansas Secretary of State's VoterView website.

Early voting starts May 9.

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